The fruit is hand picked and brought to the cellar for full de-stemming and fermentation with the skins for about 15 days. Once the soft pressing is complete, the wine finishes natural fermentation in autoclave to achieve a perfect spritz when bottled under pressure.
Santa Giustina is located in the heart of the Colli Piacentini in the far northwestern corner of Emilia-Romagna. A perfect backdrop to what the estate calls their 'village' (a few 1000 year old buildings, a church from 870, and their wine-making facilities) is a series of perfect hills before the distant Alps. A 100 hectare property at 300m above sea level is theirs, comprised of many different crops, forests, vineyards, and a private game reserve. 30 hectares of organically farmed vineyards produce just over 70,000 bottles a year to create a wide range of wine from the local varieties. All viticultural and vinicultural practices are extremely natural in principal, as they find it completely unnecessary to intervene with the natural magic of the grapes they farm. In addition to their clean and pure winemaking philosophy, due to the entire family's allergies to sulfur, they choose to use no SO2 whatsoever in the winery, however they do use sulfites during harvest in the picking bins to prevent early fermentation. Simple and delicious juice is found in each and every bottle, and all are perfect for enjoying at the table.
60% Barbera, 40% Croatina
Barbera is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano). It produces good yields and is known for deep color, full body, low tannins and high levels of acidity.
Century-old vines still exist in many regional vineyards and allow for the production of long-aging, robust red wines with intense fruit and enhanced tannic content. The best known appellation is the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Barbera d'Asti in the Piedmont region: the highest-quality Nizza DOCG wines are produced within a sub-zone of the Barbera d'Asti production area. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red cherries and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, and hints of vanilla notes. The lightest versions are generally known for flavors and aromas of fresh fruit and dried fruits, and are not recommended for cellaring. Wines with better balance between acid and fruit, often with the addition of oak and having a high alcohol content are more capable of cellaring; these wines often result from reduced-yield viticultural methods.
Croatina has characteristics similar to the Dolcetto grape in that it tends to produce fruity, deeply colored wines that are mildly tannic and can benefit from bottle aging. Such is the case with the wine Oltrepò Pavese Bonarda DOC which contains from 85% to 100% Croatina (under its local name of ‘Bonarda’). However Croatina is often blended with Barbera, as in Gutturnio, a wine from Emilia-Romagna containing 30.0% – 45.0% Croatina. It may also be employed as a very minor part of a blend, as is the case with some examples of Amarone.
Emilia-Romagna is a rich, fertile region of northern Italy, and one of the country's most prolific wine regions – more than 136,000 acres (55,000ha) were under vine in 2010. At 150 miles (240km) wide, it spans almost the entire width of the northern Italian peninsula, sandwiched between Tuscany to the south, Lombardy and Veneto to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Nine miles of Liguria is all that separates Emilia-Romagna from the Ligurian Sea, and uniqueness as the only Italian region with both an east and a west coast.
Emilia-Romagna's viticultural heritage dates back as far as the seventh century BC, ranking it among the older of Italy's wine regions. Vines were introduced here by the Etruscans and later adopted by the Romans, who used the Via Aemilia road (after which the region is named) to transport wine between its cities.
The region's geographical diversity is significant, and plays an important part in creating the various terroirs found here. In the west the rolling hills and Apennine peaks give way to the lower-lying plains east of Parma, Modena and Bologna, and beyond that the coastal plains of the Ferrara province, where a notable portion of the land lies just below sea level. The river Po flows west to east across all these features, marking the region's northern border and linking the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea.
Tasting: deep red fruits, blackberry, baking spice and a touch of vanilla, slightly sweet, refreshing bubbles
Pairing: hard cheese, charcuterie and spicy brined olives